Celebrations with Academic Colleges

As part of the events celebrating the inauguration of Dr. Michael D. Williams as the sixth president of Harding University, each of our academic colleges will be individually celebrating their community and alumni.

Colleges of Allied Health & Nursing

Dean Michael McGalliard and Dean Susan Kehl invite you to join alumni David Smith, M.D., and Sheila Sullivan, Ph.D., for a discussion on bioethics in the Benson Auditorium from 2-4 p.m.

Learn more about David Smith, M.D. (’67)

Headshot of David SmithDr. David Smith has practiced clinical cardiology for 35 years, and he is the current director of palliative care at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Smith is passionate about bioethics, serving as the chair for the medical ethics committee for Baptist Health Medical Center, consulting with organizations on state legislation regarding bioethics and teaching bioethics courses.

Dr. Smith received his Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Harding University, and he earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Missouri. He has served as a deacon and as chairman of the Missions Committee at Pleasant Valley Church of Christ for over 40 years. In addition to his clinical work in Little Rock, Dr. Smith also serves as the chairman of the Haiti Christian Development Project, which promotes community-based primary health, agricultural development, primary education and evangelism/spiritual formation. He has worked with and led medical teams for short-term work to Haiti since 1984.

Learn more about Sheila Cox Sullivan, Ph.D. (’82)

Headshot of Sheila SullivanSheila Sullivan is the national director for research, evidence-based practice and analytics in the Office of Nursing Services for the Department of Veterans Affairs. In this role, she directs an innovative team dedicated to educating and supporting nurses throughout the VA.

Sullivan obtained her doctorate from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and has authored several academic works based on her research efforts. Prior to her current position, Sullivan’s roles at the VA included associate nurse executive/research at Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System and associate director for Associate Health Professions Education and Evaluation/VISN 16 GRECC. Prior to the VA, Dr. Sullivan served as a faculty member and assistant dean at Harding University.

College of Arts & Humanities

Dean J. Warren Casey invites you to join alumni Daryl Bassett (Arkansas Secretary of Labor and Licensing), Paul Maple (attorney at i3 Verticals, Inc.), Errica Rivera (culture and inclusion lead at State Auto Insurance Companies) and Lathan Watts (vice president of Public Affairs at Alliance Defending Freedom) in the Reynolds Recital Hall from 2-4 p.m.

Learn more about Daryl Bassett (’78)

Headshot of Daryl BassettDaryl Bassett currently serves as the first appointed Secretary for the Arkansas Department of Labor and Licensing. Prior to this role, he served as director of Arkansas Department of Workforce Services and as the former director of Business and Commercial Services for the Arkansas Secretary of State. He also was commissioner for the Arkansas Public Service Commission for nine years and served as chief economic development advisor to Governor Mike Huckabee.

Bassett also has served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Diversity Committee and was a member of the Financial Research Institute for Columbia College of Business Board of Directors at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Prior to his service in state government, he worked as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch. Bassett also currently serves on a number of national boards of directors and civic organizations in his home state of Arkansas.

Learn more about Paul Maple (’96)

Headshot of Paul MapleAs general counsel and corporate secretary at i3 Verticals, Inc., a publicly traded financial technology company, Paul Maple leads the legal compliance, corporate governance and human relations functions for the company. Prior to his work at i3 Verticals, Maple served as a partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, in Nashville, Tennessee, and as the chief compliance officer and assistant general counsel for Clarcor, Inc.

Maple holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harding University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Ericka, and their three children, Riley, Blake and Chase.

Learn more about Errica Walker Rivera (’91)

Headshot of Errica RiveraErrica Rivera is an experienced corporate leader for State Auto Insurance Companies, and she is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the community. In March 2008, she joined State Auto as the company’s first director of talent acquisition. She has since held several other positions with State Auto including community relations officer, business partner for the Western Regional office, and government relations in Austin, Texas. Most recently, Rivera has taken her passion for developing future business leaders and promoting diversity, equity and inclusion to her new role as the culture and inclusion lead.

During her time at Harding, Rivera was a Spring Sing hostess in 1989 and 1991 and was crowned Harding’s first African American Homecoming Queen in 1990. After graduating, she went on to found the Harding University African American Alumni Association. She continues to organize and participate in various community initiatives to engage with and recruit diverse audiences on behalf of the insurance industry.

Learn more about Lathan Watts (’98)

Headshot of Lathan WattsLathan Watts drew from his nearly 20 years of experience in politics, public policy and non-profits to take on his role as the vice president of public affairs at Alliance Defending Freedom. ADF is the world’s largest non-profit legal organization, and it is dedicated to protecting religious liberty, free speech, the sanctity of life, marriage and parental rights. Watts now represents ADF at external events, conferences and media while writing pieces on constitutional law, politics and culture in various publications.

Watts graduated from Harding with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1998. From there, he went on to earn his Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi, served four years as a city councilman in Lewisville, Texas, and held campaign and official staff positions for U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling, U.S. Senator John Cornyn and Texas Governor Rick Perry.

College of Bible & Ministry

Dean Monte Cox invites you to join COBAM and HST alumni John Barton and Mike Cope in the McInteer rotunda and McInteer Center for Bible and World Missions Building room 150. Barton will discuss his forthcoming book, Better Religion: A Primer for Interreligious Peacebuilding, at 2 p.m. Cope and Barton will be interviewed in a panel discussion at 3 p.m.

Learn more about John Barton (’89)

Headshot of John BartonIn his new book, Better Religion: A Primer for Interreligious Peacebuilding, John Barton builds on his passion and experience as an activist for interfaith relations to help others find ways of shaping a better future for the world in light of — not in spite of — our differences. Barton and his wife, Sara, worked in Uganda from 1994-2002 as church planters and development workers, where they founded the Busoga Bible School in 1998.

Upon returning to the U.S. in 2002, Barton served as professor and later as provost at Rochester University. He is now a professor of teaching in the Religion and Philosophy Division at Pepperdine University and the director of the Pepperdine Center of Faith and Learning. Barton also serves as the president of the Kibo Group International, which supports sustainable development for East African communities. Barton earned his bachelor’s degree from Harding, Master of Divinity from Harding School of Theology, and doctorate from Makerere University in Uganda.

Learn more about Mike Cope (’78)

Headshot of Mike CopeBuilding on over three decades of ministry, Mike Cope now serves as the director of ministry outreach for Pepperdine University, where he directs the Thriving in Ministry and Thriving Congregations initiatives. These initiatives focus on aiding church of Christ ministers and congregations in building relational and effective communities particularly in the western United States. He also directs Harbor, Pepperdine’s lectureship series.

Prior to his role at Pepperdine, Cope served as minister at College Church of Christ in Searcy for seven years before moving to Abilene, Texas, in 1991 to serve as a minister for Highland Church of Christ. He held this position for 18 years, alongside his role as adjunct professor for Abilene Christian University. Mike and his wife, Diane, live in Abilene and have two sons and three grandchildren.

Paul R. Carter College of Business Administration

Dean Allen Frazier invites you to join alumnus Bret Raymond of The Pack Shack at 2 p.m. in Mabee Business Building room 111. At 3 p.m., following his presentation, students and faculty will participate in a “Feed the Funnel” event in the Mabee Business Building lobby to assemble food packages for neighbors in need in our community.

Learn more about Bret Raymond (’96)

A headshot of Bret RaymondBret Raymond has a personal mission to encourage people to know their neighbors, understand the struggles and challenges they face, and take action to help them. Raymond’s vision is shaped by what he’s seen throughout his career, including his executive roles in nonprofit food manufacturing in Rwanda, textile manufacturing in northwest China and business continuity consulting in Europe and South America. In 2013, he co-founded The Pack Shack, which aims to increase awareness about hunger, supply food and other provisions to nonprofits and to encourage more people to get involved. Today, he continues to serve as CEO of The Pack Shack.

Since its inception, The Pack Shack has held “Feed the Funnel” parties with more than 190,000 participants across 40 states who have packed over 40 million meals. Raymond graduated from Harding with a bachelor’s in accounting, and he earned his Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University. Raymond lives in northwest Arkansas with his wife of 26 years, Johnna, and their daughter and two sons. When he’s not at work, you will likely find Raymond on his farm, tending to his flock of sheep.

Cannon-Clary College of Education

Dean Donny Lee invites you to join alumni Jim Galyan (therapist at ReGroup in Searcy), Kyla Diles Glasser (Searcy School District Teacher of the Year), Dr. Mike Hernandez (executive director of the Arkansas Association of Education Administrator), Jared Walters (school counselor at Cabot Junior High South) and Mary Joy Wilson (classroom teacher) for a panel discussion on mental health & safety in schools in Cone Chapel from 2-4 p.m.

Learn more about Jim Galyan (’88)

Headshot of Jim GalyanJim Galyan is a licensed professional counselor who has acted as a therapist and clinical director in residential and outpatient treatment settings. He is currently a partner and therapist at the ReGroup Counseling Services, working with individuals, couples and families, specializing in innovative techniques to serve those struggling with various issues.

Galyan earned his Master of Science in marriage and family therapy from Harding University.

Learn more about Kyla Diles Glasser (’04)

Headshot of Kyla GlasserKyla Diles Glasser has taught seventh and eighth grade science at Ahlf Junior High in Searcy, Arkansas, since 2008, and she currently serves as the department chair. Glasser has served on multiple state and national committees to write science standards and assessments.

Glasser graduated from Harding University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in middle-level and elementary education, and she earned her Master of Science in school counseling in 2008.

Learn more about Dr. Mike Hernandez (’08)

Headshot of Mike HernandezDr. Miguel Hernandez serves as the executive director for the Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators, which is dedicated to providing statewide professional development and advocacy for a variety of administrative roles in Arkansas school districts. Dr. Hernandez is personally student-focused, working to support growth in each school leader’s ability to improve student achievement.

Dr. Hernandez holds a Bachelor of Science from University of New Orleans, a master’s in mathematics from the University of Central Arkansas, and master’s and doctorate in educational leadership from Harding University. He began his administrative career as a principal at Western Yell County High School before becoming superintendent of Hot Springs School District and Danville School District. Prior to his current position, Dr. Hernandez also served in various positions at the Arkansas Department of Education, including assistant commissioner over fiscal services, state superintendent for the Office of Coordinated Support and service and deputy commissioner.

Learn more about Jared Walters (‘11)

Headshot of Jared WaltersJared Walters is a school counselor for Cabot Junior High South in Cabot, Arkansas, and he also teaches as an adjunct professor in the Cannon-Clary College of Education.

Walters graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in middle-level education math and science in 2011, and he earned his Master of Science and Educational Specialist degrees in clinical mental health counseling in 2015.

Learn more about Mary Joy Lewis Wilson (’16)

Mary Joy Lewis Headshot of Mary Joy WilsonWilson is an elementary school teacher for Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Wilson earned her Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education in 2016 and her Master of Education in reading in 2017, both from Harding.

College of Pharmacy

Dean Dan Atchley invites you to join alumni Coby Benson, Sam Hubler, Jack Lin and Candy Still as they share their pharmacy journeys in a panel discussion in Farrar Center for Health Sciences rooms 217 and 218 at 12 p.m.

Learn more about Coby Benson (’13)

A headshot of Coby BensonDr. Cobbina (Coby) Benson works as a clinical community pharmacist, owns three pharmacies in Memphis, Tennessee, and serves as a member of the board of directors for Newstart Clinic. Dr. Benson is a preceptor for pharmacy students from the University of Tennessee, University of Florida, University of Colorado, Howard University and more. In his spare time, he educates inmates at local prison centers about substance abuse and other drug-related issues, and he hopes to eventually teach and impact future pharmacists. Dr. Benson earned his Doctor of Pharmacy from Harding University in 2012.

Learn more about Sam Hubler (’12)

Headshot of Sam HublerLieutenant Commander Samuel Hubler serves as director of Outpatient Pharmacy Services for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and deputy health administrator at Okmulgee Indian Health Center. During his third year of pharmacy school, he was commissioned into the United States Air Force. Upon graduating from Harding with his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2012, LCDR Hubler was assigned to active duty at the Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado. There, he served as the pharmacy operations officer and pharmacy officer in charge for three years. He then transferred to the United States Public Health Service and earned a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Oklahoma State in 2016. He currently serves as preceptor to Harding University, University of Colorado, University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy and more.

Learn more about Jack Lin (’13)

Headshot of Jack LinDr. Jack Lin provides direct patient care to and supporting community organizations that serve Arkansans with specialized diseases, marketing and driving initiatives for effective management of business. Dr. Lin graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy and a Master of Business Administration from Harding University, both in 2012. He has held multiple positions within the Walgreens pharmacy system, and he currently serves as the Registered Manager of Community, Walgreens Local Specialty in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Learn more about Candy Reeves Still (’13)

A headshot of Candy StillDr. Candy Still currently serves as the pain management, opioid safety and prescription drug monitoring program coordinator and the co-pain lead for the South Central Veterans Affairs Health Care Network (VISN 16). Dr. Still earned her Doctor of Pharmacy at Harding University in 2013 and completed her residency at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2014. She has held various positions including a role as a clinical pharmacist for Veterans Health Care System to taking on a role as the opioid safety initiative lead for VISN 16.

Honors and University Colleges

Dean Kevin Kehl invites you to join alumna New York Times Best-Selling Ghostwriter, Writer and Editor Tiffany Yecke Brooks to discuss 25 tips for writing and life at the Sears Honors House at 2 p.m.

Learn more about Tiffany Yecke Brooks (’01)

Headshot of Tiffany Yecke BrooksTiffany Yecke Brooks is the lead or contributing writer for over two dozen books, including multiple New York Times bestsellers. Brooks’ writing and academic work centers on faith, from her dissertation covering adaptations of stories from the book of Genesis to her most recent book. This work, Gaslighted by God: Reconstructing a Disillusioned Faith, explores the feeling of isolation and brokenness in your faith, asking harder questions with harder answers, all working toward giving her audience hope while healing and reconnecting with God.

Brooks holds a master’s degree from University of Bristol and a doctorate from Florida State University, and she is currently pursuing a degree in spiritual formation at Portland Seminary. Brooks has remained a popular speaker for student groups, faith conferences and academic lectureships, and she has taught classes on literature and writing at Harding University, Abilene Christian University, McMurry University and University of South Carolina - Beaufort.

College of Sciences

Dean Zane Gastineau invites you to join alumni for the following events:

Join the departments of biology and chemistry & biochemistry for a showcase of student research presentations by Brennan Friesenborg, Sydney Reynolds and Kyra Joiner Smith in Pryor-England Science Center room 181 at 2 p.m. followed by a discussion between alumni and students about succeeding in graduate programs and career advice.

Learn more about Brennan Friesenborg (’23)

Brennan Friesenborg, Senior Chemistry major will present a talk entitled, “Computational Analysis of Titanium of a Monoxide Reaction.”

Learn more about Sydney Reynolds (’24)

Headshot of Sydney ReynoldsSydney Reynolds, a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major, will present a talk entitled, “Decreasing Activation of Microglial Cells in the Presence of Pro-Inflammatory Stimuli: a Role for Levetiracetam?”

Learn more about Kyra Joiner Smith (’23)

Headshot of Kyra JoinerKyra Joiner, senior biology major will present a talk entitled, “Comparison of the behavior and microhabitat selection in overwintering hatchling and adult smooth softshell turtles (Apalone mutica).”

Join the department of computer science and alumnus Keith Perry, chief information officer at St. Jude Children's Hospital, for a presentation in Pryor-England Science Center room 113 at 2 p.m.

Learn more about Keith Perry (’89)

Headshot of Keith PerryKeith Perry is the senior vice president and chief information officer for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he oversees all aspects of delivering a technology strategy for clinical, research and administration in line with St. Jude’s mission to find cures and save children. He is also a board member for Bloom Fitness, an organization focused on health and wellness for the intellectual and developmental disabilities community.

Perry graduated with a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Harding University and Master of Business Administration from University of Houston. He served as the associate vice president and deputy chief information officer at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and as the director of enterprise technology and director of business line applications for U.S. Oncology. He started his health care career with Columbia/HCA Healthcare as director of application technology and architecture.

Join the department of mathematics to hear alumnus David L. Duke, Ph.D., digital solutions strategist for LifeScan, speak to students in Pryor-England Science Center room 113 at 3 p.m.

Learn more about David L. Duke (’00)

A headshot of David DukeDavid Duke is the digital solutions strategist at LifeScan, where he helps lead the data innovation team. After graduating from Harding University with degrees in math and physics in 2000, Duke went on to teach physics, math and Bible at Chepkong’ony Secondary School in Kaptagat, Kenya. He then enrolled in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon, where he initially worked on autonomous vehicles before joining the team which founded the Carnegie Mellon Qatar campus in Doha, Qatar. After five years there, Duke spent 12 years researching the application of machine learning toward improving diabetes therapy in the context of a telemedicine system at Roche Diabetes Care.

Join the department of engineering and physics to hear alumni Jared Boyd, Josh Gibb, Maurisa Hughes, Hannah McClendon, Ray Price, Tim Strasser and Andrew Townsend speak to students in Pryor-England Science Center rooms 300 and 301 at 2 p.m.

Learn more about Jared Boyd (’05)

Headshot of Jared BoydJared Boyd is an RF traffic engineer for Verizon Wireless, where he analyzes cell site data and designs and improves tools to assist with cell site traffic. Boyd graduated from Harding in 2005 with a degree in computer engineering.

Learn more about Josh Gibb (’11)

Headshot of Josh GibbJosh Gibb is a process engineer for L’Oréal in North Little Rock. He graduated from Harding in 2011 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Learn more about Maurisa Orona Hughes (’17)

Headshot of Maurisa HughesMaurisa Hughes is a senior engineer for Southwest Power Pool, where she performs long-term studies of the electrical grid to identify necessary upgrades. She graduated from Harding in 2017 with a degree in electrical engineering.

Learn more about Hannah McMurtry McClendon (’20)

Headshot of Hannah McClendonHannah McClendon is a design engineer for Hytrol Conveyor Company, where she designs conveyor units for companies like Amazon and FedEx. She graduated from Harding in 2020 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Learn more about Ray Price (’19)

Headshot of Ray PriceRay Price is a design engineer for Summit Utilities, where he designs natural gas pipelines and assists with project coordination. He graduated from Harding in 2019 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Learn more about Tim Strasser (’19)

Headshot of Timothy StrasserTimothy Strasser is an engineer for New Millennium Building Systems, where he designs roof systems for industrial clients. Strasser graduated from Harding in 2019 with a degree in mechanical engineering, and he earned a master’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Arkansas in 2020.

Learn more about Andrew Townsend (’12)

Headshot of Andrew Townsend

Andrew Townsend is a registered professional engineer in the state of Arkansas, and he has worked at Summit Utilities since 2012. There, he has held roles including an infrastructure integrity specialist contractor and senior engineer. He is currently a staff engineer in the Pipeline Integrity department with Summit. Townsend graduated from Harding in 2012 with a degree in mechanical engineering, and he is currently pursuing a master’s degree in engineering management.

Join the department of behavioral sciences and alumni Amy Rivera-Ashcraft and Paden Timms to discuss mental health services for veterans in Ezell Building 204 at 2 p.m., with a reception to follow.

Learn more about Amy Rivera-Ashcraft (’01)

A headshot of Amy Rivera-AshcraftAmy Rivera-Ashcraft is a social worker for the Department of Veterans Affairs, and she serves as the national program coordinator for the Intimate Partner Violence Assistance program. Rivera-Ashcraft earned a Bachelor of Social Work from Harding University, and she is currently completing a doctorate in social work from Walden University, where her research focuses on the topic “Human Trafficking: Identification and Prevention.”

Learn more about Paden Timms (‘16)

Paden TimmsPaden Timms is a trauma therapist at PrimeCare Medical Clinic in Searcy. He also operates Firelight Counseling, which is a private practice that utilizes outdoor experience as a therapeutic intervention. As a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, he has a distinct passion for aiding veterans and first responders. Timms received a Bachelor of Science in psychology in 2016 and a specialist degree in clinical mental health counseling from Harding University in 2017.

Join the department of family and consumer sciences for a round table event with alumni Katie Waldron and Amy Elliott to discuss leadership and career advice in the Olen Hendrix food lab at 2 p.m.

Learn more about Amy Elliott (’03)

A headshot of Amy ElliottAmy Elliott has taught family and consumer sciences to high school students for 20 years. In particular, she teaches about food safety and nutrition, as well as culinary arts, at Beebe High School, where she also serves as one of the FCCLA advisors. When she is not busy with school activities, she enjoys running, walking, watching college softball, being in the sunshine and spending time with her cat. 

Elliott graduated from Harding University in 2003 with a degree in family and consumer sciences and earned her master’s degree in family and consumer sciences from the University of Central Arkansas in 2008.